3 Things Your Doctor is Most Likely NOT Telling You About Your Thyroid!
I speak with people all over the country each week about their health. One of the most common conversations we have is about Thyroid health. It's a huge issue. Most of my patients are women, but I also help men, too. 1 out of 5 women will be diagnosed with a thyroid problem, and 1 out of 10 men. That's a lot of people. And, many of them don't feel better despite going to their doctors for help. Why is that? I think it's because there are things they are not being told. I believe they are not being told because their doctors actually are not familiar with functional healthcare. The kind that looks at root cause. Most Medical training is about reacting to symptoms and matching a drug with a symptom or lab test "out of range". It has little to do with actually looking at a patient as a whole person and fixing the underlying issues. So, let's talk about 3 things I think you should know!
1) All Thyroid hormones are NOT created equal! Most thyroid evaluations are based on TSH and T4 levels. TSH stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone and is actually a pituitary hormone, not a thyroid hormone. It is important, but it's important because it tells us how the brain and the thyroid are communicating. It's a thermostat of sorts. If it goes up, thyroid hormone should be low because your brain believes your thyroid should be creating more thyroid hormone. There is actually quite a bit to this as sometimes hormones don't do what they should be doing, which is why you need help in the first place :) I'll spare you the details. Just know that it can be a bit complicated, which is why a functional look at the thryoid is so helpful!
Next, we have T4 and T3 thyroid hormones. T4 is the inactive version of thyroid hormone. It doesn't do any of the good stuff until it converts to T3. That conversion requires proper nutrients like zinc, selenium, iodine and Vitamin D. 60% of that conversion happens in the liver and 20% in the gut, so the health of those systems are super important. If we are not looking at the Free and direct levels of both T4 and T3, we simply don't know if that conversion is happening properly.
2) What you eat matters! Many patients are told that it doesn't matter what you eat if you have hypothyroidism. That simply could not be more wrong. The number one thing a person can do to feel better with a thyroid problem is to quit eating wheat. Why is that? There is protein in gluten called gliadin. That protein looks quite a bit like the thyroid gland tissue. If a person has intestinal permeability or a "leaky gut", that protein leaks into the bloodstream and mounts and immune system response. That response is to destroy the gliadin, which looks like the thyroid gland. That means, your body starts to attack and break down the thyroid... Which leads to my number 3 point....
3) Most (80-90%) of hypothyroid conditions are autoimmune. That means the immune system is targetting the thryoid. If this is the case, you have an immune system problem, not a thyroid problem! By failing to identify that, we don't know hot to treat the root cause. You figure this out by running a complete thyroid panel including TPO and TG antibodies to see if the body is breaking down the thyroid gland. That is routine on my labs, but I am always suprised that many doctors tell their patients it's not necessary.
So, those are 3 thing I think everyone should know about their thyroid that they are not being told by their doctors. I hope you found this helpful. Please pass it along to someone you think might need to know about this.
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To your health!